Many people would have heard about the hissy fit thrown by professional conservative provocateur Ann Coulter when she had her seat on a plane flight switched. Since her entire mission is to gain publicity of any kind in order to get speaking engagements and sell books, this incident was a success for her, however much mockery she received.
What I wanted to focus on is one thing that she tweeted when the airline offered to refund her the $30 extra that she had paid to get that particular seat.
$30! It cost me $10,000 of my time to pre-select the seat I wanted, investigate type of plane & go back periodically to review seat options
If she charges for her time at the exorbitant rate of around $1,000 per hour, like many top lawyers do, that means she spent 10 hours just to pick her damn seat, which makes her one of the most inefficient people on the planet.
But I want to focus on this whole question of time=money that is used for such productivity estimates. Very often ones sees articles about how much some delay (such as sitting in traffic jams, power outages, flight delays, etc.) is costing the economy. Those estimates seem to be computed by calculating the per hour cost of the average wage earner and then multiplying it by the time ‘lost’ and claiming that this is the cost to the economy. The figures quoted often run into the billions of dollars.
But that is surely bogus. What the delays do is shift the work to another time, a nuisance to be sure, but of no added cost to the employer because people do not charge for the time lost by the delay. Unless someone else had to be hired to do the work or something, this is not ‘real’ money. But I am not an economist and maybe someone will explain why this is an actual loss.
The ‘research’ that Coulter did did not cost her $10,0000 because if so, she would have easily bought a first class ticket for much less.
But she probably got what she wanted that was much more valuable to her – notoriety.